A 12-year-old boy was left behind at a South Auckland service station, after the bus he was on refused to wait for him to go to the toilet.
The boy was travelling from Tauranga to Auckland, when the bus stopped at the Bombay Service station.
He asked the InterCity bus driver if he could use the toilet, and the reply was the bus would only be stopped for two minutes.
- NZ Coach Service under fire over racist, abusive 'spear chucker' text to customer
- Bus driver shortage leaves Tauranga school children stranded
- Watch: Wellington motorist boards bus after crash, rages at driver, passengers
"I think the boy thought he meant he would wait for two minutes and took off to the toilet," wrote one woman on InterCity NZ's Facebook page on Sunday.
"Door closed bus driver started to drive off. A young girl ran up to the driver and said the boy was not on the bus. Driver said it was not a toilet stop, and he had told him he could not go and drove away. His bags still on the bus. I am absolutely appalled," she continued.
The bus then continued on to Auckland, leaving the child behind by himself.
A second bus was called to pick the child up, reports NZME.
One of the passengers on the second bus said the boy was "gobsmacked" at the abandonment.
"He looked quite rattled but he's quite a confident little kid," Rachael Saunders told NZME.
"The fact he actually spoke to the bus driver is what everyone is so annoyed about. It wouldn't have taken much for him to just wait for the little boy to get back on."
According to NZ Coachlines and Auckland Tourism's general manager Sam Peate, the child's ticket was refunded, and an investigation into the incident is underway.